Sunday, November 02, 2008

Adventures in Campaigning

As I type this on the screened porch (a lovely Indian Summer evening out there), a small herd of white-tailed deer flits peacefully across the lawn, all seems right with the world, and a general magnanimity toward humankind pervades -- aided materially, I'm sure, by the second Samuel Adams Winter Lager that twinkles benignly at my elbow.

It was not always thus, today.

Eleven o'clock this morning (that would be noon to you spring-forward-fall-behind rebels out there) saw Betty Jingo and myself darkening the door of the Obama office in Purcellville, Virginia, ready to offer our services in any way that might help. "Oh, but we don't start canvassing until noon," the office manager, Natasha, purred. Pointing to my watch indignantly and averring that it was already past noon and damned well time to start knocking on doors, I was, I'll grant, a bit chopfallen when reminded of the biannual ritual of clock-mucking. Sighing heavily to cover my embarrassment, I enquired as to what might be the best use of our time until the actual hour approached. The answer was Visibility.

This entailed wandering Purcellville's Main Street, waving homemade "Vote Obama!" signs at passing traffic. For the edification of young minds about what a dreadfully conflicted country we remain, I can offer no better exercise.

Many, many cars hooted approval. Quite a few offered thumbs-up signs. Not as many assayed the pollice verso, which was gratifying. Thus a little less than an hour passed. (Young Betty, nearly seventeen, was utterly mortified to watch Daddikins make a fool of himself on the thoroughfare, and spent the hour skulking behind a mailbox.)

An Obama campaign worker appeared at the corner of Twenty-First and Main, signaling us to return to base. It was still fifteen minutes before the "real" noon, so I was a bit puzzled. As I began to comply with his orders, a police cruiser shot in front of me and its driver signaled me to stop in my tracks. Puzzled, I complied. He informed me that a complaint had been filed, asserting that Obama workers had been obstructing traffic and causing trouble outside the local gun-shop, a couple of blocks away. That the gun-shop had the largest McCain/Palin sign ever seen in this county prominently displayed over its door might have offered the good officer a hint as to the complaint's motivation, but I held my tongue, accepted the censure politely, and prepared to move on. The officer then offered this gem:

"Look, you just can't be out here causing trouble, or even the appearance of it. Think of the guy you're working for. He needs you to be on your best behavior. To be honest with you, I'm voting for the guy myself, and that's really why I'm telling you this...."

You rawk, officer.

And one more thing. To the young man who leaned out his truck window and snarled, "It's called the White House" to me and Betty, I thank you. Really, I do. There, just outside the White Palace -- in the 1920s, the headquarters of the Purcellville chapter of the Ku Klux Klan -- you did me a great service.

You reminded me exactly why I'm doing this.

Thank you.

You asshat.

9 comments:

giggles said...

Betty, 17???!!! OMG!!! I, too did my fair share helping the cause.... Hung doorhangers on friendly abodes...very little talking, but all hopefully productive... I gotta believe, we've done as much and as well as we could by now.... Come Tuesday, I hope to be lifting the elbow many a time in celebratory cheer for change!!! Here's to ya!!

Neddie said...

Betty, 17???!!! OMG!!!

I find it hard to believe myself, giggles. Last week, she bunged the Corolla into a ditch during her second driving lesson. Where did that little monkey-faced toddler go?

Turn around and you're two,
Turn around and you're four...

'Long about nine PM Tuesday, when PBS declares Virginia for Obama, you are welcome to hoist a tankard for us. That will be the bellwether...

Ronin Geographer said...

We just missed all that? I just posted a link here. Our campaign adventure was limited to meeting a few still "undecideds" - or who say they are.

David Weintraub said...

Bravo!!

I'd like to imagine that the data I entered today was yours. Yes we will, friend.

Casey said...

Good for you and Officer Cool.

I unleashed my drawl and made calls to your fair Commonwealth yesterday. Out of forty calls, I only spoke to one McCain supporter. He revealed this after I'd introduced myself and he replied with a stunned, "You're calling from Texas?" I think it unnerved the guy--Texas is "supposed" to be a solid red state.

Keep on keepin' on. Just one more day to go.

handdrummer said...

I've been doing my requisite 10 a day calls for the past month, mostly to Oh, VA and NC. The only time a voice has been raised to me was by a couple folks who cursed while using the B(u*h) word in a less than complimentary fashion.

Based on this, I figure I'll either be having a great night tomorrow watching the returns or be busily planning my part in the general uprising which will follow a patently fraudulent McCain election. It's good to know these things in advance.

captcha: repeteet, an oddly comforting bit of jive...

Boris the Spider said...

My in-laws live in Purcellville, so I know the White Palace (ate there) and that gun shop (driven past, never gone in). I'll be there for Thanksgiving week with the extended family, and I'm hoping I can be all smug with Obama as the next President. I dread what my week will be like if the other guy wins.

On a different topic, the really good used book store there was closing when I was there last December, and I have no idea if a new one has replaced it. Do you know of any used book stores in the area?

Neddie said...

On a different topic, the really good used book store there was closing when I was there last December, and I have no idea if a new one has replaced it. Do you know of any used book stores in the area?

Ugh -- the closing of that bookstore pretty much ended Purcellville's cultural life. Many was the hour that I spent perusing its Local History section.

Tragically, Boris, I know of no other (even faintly comparable) used -- or even new -- bookstore in the area. Might be an aspiration for my retirement, some twenty years from now.

cb said...

Neddie wrote:
Tragically, Boris, I know of no other (even faintly comparable) used -- or even new -- bookstore in the area. Might be an aspiration for my retirement, some twenty years from now.
Try the Thrift Shop on Main just west of Darrell's barber shop. They inherited most of Final Draft's books and now have a huge used book selection, including inexpensive paperbacks.